Month: January 2012

Trip Report – St. Louis and Jacksonville, IL

10/24/2011 – Southwest Flight #1232 MSY – DAL (Leave 6:10 AM, Arrive 7:35 AM)

                          Southwest Flight #1256 DAL – STL (Leave 9:30 AM, Arrive 11:10 AM)

10/28/2011 – Southwest Flight #1568 STL – HOU (Leave 8:55 AM, Arrive 11:05 AM)

                           Southwest Flight #2675 HOU – MSY (Leave 12:05 PM, Arrive 1:10 PM) 

As part of my writings for this blog I am going to try and squeeze in a few trip reports from my business travels, if possible, and all personal travels.  I had flown this same exact itinerary the previous week so I did not expect any significant deviations.  However, as we boarded on the 24th in New Orleans the Captain mentioned that there was some pretty thick fog in and around Dallas.   He said he did not expect it to be an issue and anticipated an early arrival (+/- 10 minutes).

The in-flight services were what I have come to expect with Southwest, efficient and friendly.  Nothing spectacular on that front and there typically is not, I have found Southwest to be quite uniform across the board.  The interesting part of this flight came as we were in our final approach into DAL.  Coming in, I could see there was fairly dense fog near ground level but did not think anything of it as you could still make out items on the ground.  We had circled around downtown and had begun our decent DAL from the north.  After extending the flaps and lowering the landing gear, as we were about to break into the fog barrier, I could feel the engines powering up and then I saw the flaps retract back into the wing.  At this point, I was not sure whether we were making a go around due to the density of the fog or if there was some mechanical error.  We did not receive word from the Captain until we had climbed back up through the upper cloud layer.  He notified us that just as we were on final approach DAL closed down flight operations due to the dense fog and that we were being diverted to Austin, TX.

Our landing in Austin was uneventful and we spent the next 3 hours on the ground in Austin.  Some of the time (approx. 45 min) was spent on the tarmac waiting for a gate to open up and the remainder was spent parked at the gate.  While at the gate Southwest gave us the options of returning to the terminal and made use of the old numbered boarding cards.  I really enjoyed getting to see those again!

Around 11 we were told to board the flight again and we took off for the short flight back to DAL.  At this point, I was not sure if I was going to be able to make it to my connection and feared having to wait in the ill-equipped Dallas Love Field.  However, as we taxied to our gate I was able to look up on Southwest.com that my flight to St. Louis had not departed due to the fog.   Thankfully, there was nothing special to report on the flight from DAL to STL and I was happy enjoy some fresh air.  Unfortunately, that fresh air didn’t last long as I had a 2 hour drive to my final destination. Not fun, but such is the life of an accountant.

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About me (and my wife)

My name is Michael and I am 28 years old and have been married for a little bit more than two years.  After getting married my wife and I moved into the New Orleans Metro Area to be closer to family.  However, after roughly 1.5 years in New Orleans a new job opportunity came up and we moved back to Atlanta, GA.  My wife and I have no children and have a 2-year old German Shorthair Pointer.  I do believe that we are both very lucky in all regards.

I am employed as a consultant.  I travel quite extensively with my company throughout the Southeast.

My wife works for an electrical contractor in a market development role.  We both have the luxury of living very close to where we work.  She does not travel for work.

How I became addicted to travel

I believe a hearty thank you should be given to my parents for my now continuing and growing desire to explore the world.  They thought that all of their children should experience cultures outside of the US and for both my sister’s and brother’s college graduation they took the entire family to Europe.  Luckily, I was the youngest and got to tag along on both trips beginning with my sister’s graduation from college in 1989.  I was the ripe age of 4.

My first trip was to Germany, Italy and Austria in May of 1989.  Obviously, I do not remember much from the trip but a few things are still clear.  On this trip we rented a car and drove through Southern Germany, Austria and Northern Italy.  Aside from a push down a hill delivered by my brother at Ludwig’s Summer Palace in Southern Germany and my sister sticking her legs out of the sunroof of our car, there is not much that I remember.  Fortunately, I made almost this exact same trip just a few years ago.

My desire for travel was reinforced when my brother graduated from college in 1992.  Once again, my parents gathered up our family, minus my sister due to her recent wedding, and took us to the U.K.  After our trip through London and the British countryside exploring cathedrals and castles I knew, even at the age of 8, that I needed travel to be a significant part of my life.

Since 1992, I have ventured across the pond seven additional times and I am now hooked on travel.

My hope for this blog is to have an outlet to discuss my travels and hopefully provide advice that is useful to those of you who might be interested in a specific destination/hotel/airline.  Occasionally, I will try to cover current travel topics and some issues that come with traveling.

My goal is to initially generate one blog post per week, hopefully increasing that to 2 per week or more as I begin to have more ideas.

My primary focus in the blog posts will be to discuss the places I have traveled to (cities in particular) and provide my opinion on what is worthwhile and what is not.  I also hope to eventually branch into discussing some hotel and restaurant options (that I have stayed in and eaten at) for each place and discussing my travels as they happen for work.  With that said, please feel free to contact me with any comments/suggestions. Enjoy!